Thursday, 25 July 2019

ALBUM REVIEW: Throes, "In the Hands of an Angry God"

By: Eeli Helin

Album Type: Full-length
Date Released: 26/07/19
Label: Holy Roar Recordings,

”In the Hands of an Angry God” CD//DD//LP track list:

1. Bad Meat
2. They Never Spoke
3. Nothing New
4. Derelict
5. From Their Nails
6. Carrion
7. Disillusion
8. Ruin
9. Fang

The Review:
On their debut LP "In the Hands of an Angry God", Throes deliver a striking and relentless blend of hardcore, sludge and post-metal, suited to kick the air out of you and keep you pinned throughout its duration. Formed on the ruins of Bone Dance, Throes explore and expand themselves on a somewhat similar ground, but taking far bleaker and dimmer turns along the way.

I was captured and fascinated by the Boise quintet's first single cut "They Never Spoke" over a month ago, and was equally excited to get a chance to review the album a few weeks later. The aforementioned track was a colossal wall of angry noise, that held its ground against a ton of other releases dropping around the same timeframe. The pounding felt oddly familiar, and it was only afterwards that I learnt about the current group's  history. Now, by saying this new output feels familiar, I mean that it is adhesive and positively infectious, not that they'd be replicating or recycling their past sound. Usually, when a band reforms under a different moniker, the result is a bland playback with a pseudo-fresh approach, but that's not the case with Throes. At all.

The first track, "Bad Meat" clocks in less than three minutes, and together with the closing, one and a half minute grinder "Fang", they set clear frames and boundaries to what everything else in between will be. These two tracks are also the most pissed off and most reminiscent of Throes' now buried past. However, while these two tracks also leave quite memorable imprints, it's everything in between them that will address and highlight what this entrant is set out to be.

The standout portion on the album is the triad of "Derelict", "From Their Nails" and "Carrion". These tracks advance in a sludgy pace, bulldozing and flattening absolutely everything in their way. The mood is pushed to so violent territory that it will increase your heart rate and inflict the kind of terror that is not very prominent in this style overall. That is a shame really, but on the contrary it gives bands like Throes a well-deserved edge against the plethora of acts in their respective realm. The slowly seeping, low-gain guitars breathe in a lot of unforgettable, atmospheric nuances, and you'll notice this afterwards. Saying that the music is "catchy" sounds a bit weird, but in the lack of a better word, catchy it is.

To step aside from the strongpoints of this album, I also have something to whine about. While "In the Hands of an Angry God" excels in what it set out to do in being ridiculously heavy and demolishing piece of music, it is also a bit ponderous and unsurprising after the first half. I personally would've liked to hear more variation towards the end, aside from the last track which will pull the rug from under your feet. One factor that may affect this feeling, is that due to the tendency of getting monotonous, the album could've been a bit shorter. The exclusion of one track or few repeated riffs here and there would've made a drastic difference to the overall fluency. Still, these are just my thoughts. I can't point out any lesser tracks or riffs per se, as nothing on the album is exactly bad or not worth your while. Each track works well individually, but the entirety is a bit off. However, if you like getting your skull bashed in constantly and give absolutely zero shits about factors such as mutability and unpredictability, then this album is definitely meant for you.

All in all, it is not a surprise that Throes got themselves signed to Holy Roar Records, a label who has proved to be the one you should always keep your eye on for. "In the Hands of an Angry God" is a powerful debut, that lays down a firm ground for Throes' future endeavours. A great deal of "flaws" can be overlooked when the band is considered to be a newcomer, but is that justifiable when the members' past is taken into account? My scale tips to their benefit this time, it'll be intriguing to hear if and how they're going to ameliorate their newfound form in the future.

In the Hands of an Angry God” is available here:

Band info: bandcamp || facebook